Blinded by money?

Is this a case of pharma funding blinding an organization for the blind from seeing what would be in the best interest of all?

from Jim Edwards at the BNET Pharma Blog

A new study that shows Avastin– a cheap cancer drug — is indeed effective at also preventing blindness, but a leading charity for the blind continues to urge the use of a different, more expensive drug for the condition. Hmm. That charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, also takes funding from Novartis(NVS), the company that markets the expensive drug in the U.K. Anyone see a connection?

The study, conducted by Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, suggests that Avastin, a cancer drug marketed in the U.S. by Roche’s(RHHBY)Genentech unit, works to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Avastin is cheap when used against AMD: It costs as little as 350 annually. The current therapy for AMD isLucentis, also made by Roche/Genentech (and sold by Novartis in Europe), which costs up to 10,000 a year. The difference in price is not trivial: More than 250,000 people in Britain suffer from AMD; 25,000 new cases occur every year….

much more via Why a Charity for the Blind Opposes a Cheap Drug for Sight Loss.

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